Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good/bad news on the beauty front

There are times when I look in the mirror and think I look OK, and other times when I think, "You really need a little something."

Sometimes this comes from looking too closely, say, a fraction of an inch from the mirror. My mother, who didn't have to worry about looking closely because she looked beautiful until the day she died, had an easy solution: Don't look so closely.

I never wore much makeup, but on and off I have fallen prey to that need to do something, which may result from a message the beauty industry has planted in my brain. I bet I am not alone in this. Once I sat at a department store makeup counter and let them "do" my face. Knowing that I was expected to buy something, I purchased an eyeliner, then went home and washed everything off.

After cancer, if I am having a bad day, I sometimes think, "You look like you've been through the wringer."

I was in the "you need something" phase during the recent New York trip I took with Katie, and I asked Serena, who always looks good, to take me to her favorite makeup place in Bloomingdale's. I was mostly interested in an eye shadow of hers that had a natural look. Several saleswomen converged on me. They were very nice, but one especially was so overly made up that she looked a little scary.

After choosing the eye shadow, I found myself being directed to an eyeliner and blush. A saleswoman applied the eyeliner, and I wavered. Katie, the voice of reason, whispered in my ear, "No, no, no." With their pretty packaging, these products draw you to them. But my own voice of reason kicked into gear, telling me I could get a similar, and much cheaper, product at a drug store.

I got out with "just" the eye shadow and some minimalist blush.

Which brings me to the point of my post: How encouraged I was to read the headline of last Thursday's main story in the New York Times' style section: "You Can Fall Out of Bed and Look Good."

The story began on a promising note: "Goodbye, lip liners, brow pencils, spackled-on foundations. The hottest beauty trend of 2012 is imperfection."

Finally, a look that sounds pretty good...and that is actually easy to accomplish.

But alas, the story quickly takes a turn into cosmetics-land, telling us about all the things to buy, and the special way to apply them, to accomplish this imperfect look.

Second paragraph: "The new look for the new year is effortless, minimalist, just-out-of-bed-with-your-lover, according to leading hair and makeup artists...Tousled hair, smudged eyeliner, dewy lips and luminous skin are in."

You are supposed to use your fingertips to "smudge eyeliner, smear bronzer, press bright stains into your cheeks and lips."

It is a little discouraging how much makeup it takes to achieve the non-made up look, but as I read on, I realized that I have actually been ahead of the game.

My eyeliner, on the rare occasions when I try to wear it, is usually smudged.


Robin said...

I love this post!

Vicki said...

I have been following your blog for a little while now--I have to say, this one really made me smile. I rarely use makeup also. My husband is always
commenting "how come you look so beautiful without all that stuff that the other women use?" It's great not to have to spend money on on all that stuff! 2006Vicki

Nelle said...

The last picture of you you posted was so great. You have a natural look that to me is far prettier than the overmadeup look some people wear. Have you ever seen the pics of clebrities with NO makeup? You couldn't recognize them! I only wear makeup rarely and then only mascara or blush. My skin has uneven spotting and sometimes I am asked if my cheek is bruised. No, just an imperfection. I just want to look healthy!

Diane said...

This reminds me of the popular 'distressed' furniture look - take a chair of yours and throw it down the stairs a few times and it will cost more at the store. Or my favorite one - the 'distressed' jeans. For $100+ you can buy a pair of jeans that someone else ripped for you! Oy! You are beautiful inside and out just the way you are.

Anonymous said...


i have known you since we were 11 -- or 10 -- you have always been exquisite -- beautiful -- with no make=up = your eye are Gorgepis=Gprdn=:Lynne...

You and Diane share in the glory of your parents' beauty -- not just physically...

and remember this, since i am not blood-related, i am objective...and Katie also has the beauty gene -- also the gracious table=etiquette...ala Lynne.. xop

PJ said...

Touche! I once had my face done in Macys and didn't recognize myself afterward. It was a "hard" look, actually it was a harlot look.

Alternative cancer treatment said...
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